The Fortnite competitive community speaks with the loudest voice in the game, but that doesn’t mean their takes are unanimous. Here are five times I disagreed with the mainstream Fortnite competitive opinions.
Hello! I’m Jimmy, the newest edition to the Fortnite Intel team. I figured I’d get things started with a few hot takes about the game we all love – and sometimes love to hate.
A little about my history with Fortnite: I’m a day-one Xbox player. My buddy and I were so enamored by PUBG that we couldn’t wait for it to come to console. We were counting the days when this new free-to-play Battle Royale came out called Fortnite. Since PUBG was still months away from making its console debut, we loaded in and tried it out.
I was hooked after one game and have been playing ever since. I took a few breaks for Blackout, Apex, and my annual love-hate relationship with Madden, but all roads lead back to Fortnite.
I’ve played Fortnite for longer than I’ve played any other game. I hate it sometimes just like everyone else, but no other game can provide the consistent satisfaction that Fortnite has.
Now, onto my hot takes. I’m not a competitive player. I climb in Arena until I hit Champion’s League and then stop playing. My K/D is pedestrian and I still have problems with consistently hitting my 90’s.
I’d classify myself as an average hardcore player. I’m far better than “casuals” but will get bodied by people who practice more than I do. I’m an evening warrior, just like a lot of other players who have stuck with the game for as long as I have.
The loudest voice in any game is always going to be the competitive community. They care the most, post the most, complain the most, and play the most. Streamers and posters on the r/FortniteCompetitive subreddit largely speak for the rest of the community, which is usually a good thing.
Sometimes, though, there is a disconnect between the loudest voices in the game and what’s actually happening. This has never been more evident than the return of the Drum Gun.
If you visited the r/FortniteCompetitive subreddit, you’d think that everyone hated the weapon. Why, then, did it win the popular vote during the Unvaulting Event? It’s because the competitive community doesn’t speak for everyone. They might be out of touch with what the rest of the “pub players” actually enjoy.
With that in mind, here are five times I’ve disagreed with the general consensus of the Fortnite competitive community.
The Combat Shotgun
This is probably going to be a controversial one: I miss the Combat Shotgun.
The competitive community hated the Combat Shotgun when it was in the game – at least based on the opinions of many Fortnite pros and frequent posters to the r/FortniteCompetitive subreddit.
Competitive players complained that the Combat decreased the skill gap. The lighting-fast rate-of-fire limited the effectiveness of things like edit switching, blocking, and even the ability to consistently hit your shots.
The Combat was the best-in-slot shotgun by a mile. Sure, the Pump could one-shot, but that didn’t matter much when an opponent with a Combat could get three or four shots off by the time you were ready to take your second.
I recognize all of this, and I still loved it. The Combat was just fun to use. As much as I dislike Desert Zone wars, it makes me miss the Combat even more.
I recognize the downsides of the weapon and agree that it was overpowered. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to use it again.
When Epic first announced skill-based matchmaking (SBMM), I was all for it. It would give skilled players more competition and limit Epic’s incentive to add overpowered noob-machines like the BRUTE.
Good players would match with one another and bad players could get better with their bot-filled lobbies. It’s a win-win, right?
Well, after a week or so of SBMM, I’m ready to say that I don’t like it. I see why it was implemented and agree that it might be the lesser of two evils, but I think it’s bad for the long-term success of the game.
I’m far from a Fortnite God. I still Harry Potter myself on 90’s and miss wide-open sniper shots. Still, I’m in the top 0.8% of wins on Fortnite, top 6% in K/D, top 2.2% in win ratio, and top 3.6% in kills. You can take a look at my stats here – I’m an open book.
There are a lot of people above me in skill, but even more below me. Epic has only implemented SBMM for Solos right now, and I can say that the game has gotten quite a bit harder for me. I’ll still outplay a few people in the lobby, but now I’m frequently running into someone who is far better than I am and dying.
Everyone likes dominating, and no one likes feeling like they’re far above their skill level. This may have been what a lot of below-average players were experiencing, but – in all honesty – I don’t think they care as much about winning as I do.
In Apex Legends – a game I play very casually – I don’t rage too hard when I die. I’m happy enough to queue into my next game and easily forget about the past.
In Fortnite, winning is everything. I don’t care if I have 20 kills; if I don’t win, I’m going to smack my desk. I think the SBMM system is going to turn some of the high and mid-tier players away from public Fortnite matches, which is bad for the long-term health of the game.
Apart from some streamers who can get stream sniped more easily with the new matchmaking system, the competitive community seems to be behind SBMM. Some agree that it’s just become Arena without siphon and points, but most of the competitive community seems to be behind the change. I don’t agree.
Fortnite is an ever-evolving game, and Epic needs to make changes to keep players coming back. They have added hundreds of map locations, items, vehicles, and weapons to Fortnite since the game came out, and it’s what keeps bringing people in.
The best example of this, in my opinion, were the changes brought in by Season X. Competitive players disliked most of the adjustments made to the map this season. I wasn’t a huge fan of turning into a toilet in Moisty Palms or getting overwhelmed by zombies in Retail Row either, but I agree with the reason Epic is making these changes.
Over time, I grew to like hiding in plain sight. I enjoyed the Taco Time mechanic – especially once they reduced the duration.
Epic gets a lot of flack for changing things or adding new items rather than fixing bugs. This criticism is fair – as are the complaints about making game-changing moves before major tournaments.
Still, as a whole, Fortnite has the unique ability to evolve faster than almost any other game out there. I like that part about it.
The Heavy Sniper
My take on the Heavy Sniper is very similar to my take on the Combat Shotgun. I like the weapon, and I think there’s a need for a gun that will one-shot structures.
Generally, snipers are considered a low-skill weapon in Fortnite. Pretty much everyone has been involved in a build battle, only to be sniped from 150 meters away by a kid hiding in a bush. It’s the worst, but it’s part of the game.
I do agree that the damage on the Heavy Sniper should be nerfed to under 150. You shouldn’t get one-shot by a Heavy Sniper bodyshot when you have 150 HP, but a lot of competitive players are calling for the Heavy Sniper to be vaulted.
I strongly disagree with this take, and I think the Heavy Sniper plays an essential role in Fortnite at all levels. Nerf the damage? Sure – but don’t remove it from the game.
I liked Ballers, especially in retrospect.
In Season 10, Ballers were replaced with the BRUTE – a vehicle that pretty much everyone hates. Sure, there were a few new players who could finally get some kills with the mech, but no one else thought it was good for the game.
The Ballers had their problems – particularly in pro-level play. They would dominate late-game rotations. If you had one, you could fly by opponents and laugh as they wasted their materials trying to tunnel.
The topic of Ballers highlights the true need for separate loot pools in Fortnite. Ballers weren’t an issue in public matches. They were phenomenal for rotation but didn’t have much of a use other than that. You wouldn’t see many players camping in a box with a baller in pubs.
The competitive community hated Ballers when they were in the game. Now that we’ve seen the mechs, though, I think even the loudest anti-Baller voices would rather revert back to the Season 9 meta.
So, there you have it: five topics with which I disagreed with the Fortnite competitive community. Of course, the community is not one voice, and many hardcore and competitive players likely agree with some of these points (especially on the topic of skill-based matchmaking).
Let me know what you think in the comments. More hot takes incoming, so get used to em!